Baked Fish Parcels

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This is really an example rather than a recipe, because once you have made these a couple of times you’ll find it easy to go off and add your own choice of the herbs and spices that you know will be loved in your own household. I like this with plain boiled potatoes with parsley. Try it with salmon instead of white fish.

Ingredients

  • about 55 g(2 oz/½ cup) dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 thick firm white fish fillets (about 120 g/ oz each), bones removed
  • 4 thick slices of lemon, rind removed
  • 125 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 8 small thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons red wine

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Cut four pieces of foil or baking paper, quite a bit larger than your fish fillets. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate and pat the fish in them to coat both sides. Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt and put each fillet on a separate piece of foil. Put a lemon slice on top, drizzle with a scant tablespoon of oil and put a garlic half and 2 thyme sprigs on each.

Close up the parcels so that you will be able to open them easily: hold the top sides of the foil up and then fold or roll them down. Fold in the ends to seal them. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the bottom of your oven dish. Put the fish parcels in the dish and bake for about 20 minutes. You should be able to smell the cooked fish, but I usually gently open one parcel with a fork and spoon, just to check that it is cooked, and then seal it up again. Wait for 3–4 minutes (so that the oil doesn’t spit) then drizzle the wine into the dish and put it back into the oven. When you start to hear activity from the oil, in about 3 or 4 minutes, remove the dish from the oven again. The wine will have reduced to almost nothing, but adds a lovely perfume to the fish. Serve the parcels immediately, unopened, helping children to open their packages and not get too close to the steam.